Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment it's just a definition (Score 1) 150

I'm a linguist, and I don't understand this controversy. Why should anyone care how the IAU defines 'planet'? They can't keep you from using the word any way you want, and their definition obviously makes no difference whatsoever to Pluto itself, nor does it have any legal standing (you won't lose your health care depending on which way they define it). So what's the big deal?

Comment Re:I use them quite a lot (Score 2) 258

Google doesn't care about you, you're the exception to their statistics. I'm the exception to some of their other statistics, and they don't care about me either. For example, I actually used the '+' to indicate in Google Search that I want a particular term to actually appear in the results. They say you can use double quotes, but (a) that isn't as convenient, and (b) double quotes mean something else, particularly when used to group words into a phrase.

You can also see Google's (non-)response to users in forums when the users complained about changes to Google News and Google Maps. The company simply ignored the users, even though the outcry was quite vociferous.

Of course Google isn't alone in this. Microsoft Office's obligatory use of the Ribbon made some of us mad, and they just ignored us. (Unlike LibreOffice, which recently added a ribbon, but kept the menus--which are actually the reason I use LO instead of MsOffice at home.) And Adobe has introduced the worst UI I've ever seen in their recent versions of Acrobat. Only when the outcry becomes tumultuous do these companies seem to listen--the reversion of Windows10 to something more like (if still not as good as) the Windows7 interface is a rare example.

Comment What if you could eat a pig without killing it? (Score 1) 331

A tourist from the city passed a farmhouse and saw a pig with a wooden leg. He went to the farmer and asked him about the pig.

The farmer said, "Oh, this is a great pig! There's no pig like him anywhere! Once, when I was plowing a field, the tractor tipped over and pinned my leg to the ground. This pig saw me and went to the house to get my wife. He saved my life!

"Another time, my wife and I were asleep in the house when a fire started. This pig woke us up and got us out of the house before it burned down. He saved me again! He's a wonderful pig!"

"But you didn't tell us how he got the wooden leg," said the tourist.

"Oh," said the farmer, "a pig like that, you don't eat all at once!"

(adapted from Prairie Home Companion, this short version here:

Comment ugly? (Score 1) 74

I was given an old laptop that had Windows XP on it the other day. I had forgotten how beautiful it looked, easier on the eyes than Win7, and far better than Win10. I fear that this "Neon" is a further step in the wrong direction. The pictures I've seen are really uninformative--half are gray windows on black backgrounds, the rest are simply uninterpretable. One article says Neon will bring "motion and fluidity to Windows 10's desktop. Apps will be expected to use transitions and animations..." Sounds like it's designed to make you seasick.

If Windows 7 is Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Windows 10 is lego blocks as Dr. Jones.

Comment Re:It's dramatic how much less info is in podcasts (Score 1) 268

Dunno why you attracted such nasty replies. I'm with you for the most part, but I listen to podcasts as I'm driving my daily commute. I might do that if I took the DC Metro, too, since I tend to get carsick reading while the train goes around curves. The podcast I just finished (the History of Rome) was quite different in audio than it would have been in print; the author (right term?) was asked whether he was going to come out with a book of the episodes, and he pointed out that what works in speech doesn't necessarily work in print--jokes and other turns of phrase don't come across the same, nor do pauses. All in all, I think I preferred listening.

Comment Re: Doing it wrong? (Score 1) 600

It's sort of a joke. A *very* smart compiler would look at the code, determine that it was trying to calculate the digits of pi, and perform the optimization: substitute the value of pi to the requisite number of digits, calculated (if need be) at compile time. I'm sure I saw that somewhere, but a quick search didn't turn anything up. Just this:

"Never put off until run time what you can do at compile time."

- David Gries, in "Compiler Construction for Digital Computers", circa 1969.

Slashdot Top Deals

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.